To say the wine world is intimidating is an understatement.
Worse still, it sometimes feels like the industry is doing it on purpose.
“Holy barnyard! What a tannic rotgipfler!” How about just saying you don’t like it?
Luckily, there’s a new movement championing a no-nonsense approach to wine, drinking it and enjoying it.
Online wine retailer Vinomofo is at the heart of that movement, and co-founder Andre Eikmeier is here to help wine novices make the most of what really should be an enjoyable – not stressful – experience.
It’s all about variety, region and vintage
According to Mr Eikmeier, finding a wine you like is the most important thing – here are a few tips to help you find your new favourite wine.
“If you know you like chardonnay, pick a couple of regions you know you like, like the Yarra Valley for instance,” he told The New Daily.
“And if you want to take it a step further, a good vintage can make as much difference as anything to be honest.”
To find out more about vintage charts, click here.
If remembering names and numbers seems too complicated, Mr Eikmeier recommends snapping a photo of a label you’ve enjoyed.
“There are lots of wine apps but all you really need is a phone camera,” he says.
Don’t focus on brands
Ever walked into a wine shop, become flustered and grabbed the most familiar brand you can see? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
“Brand is less related to what you’re going to like,” says Mr Eikmeier, who refers to the phenomenon as the “brand safety net”.
“Do you know how many people just go for, say, Penfolds because it seems familiar and safe? But you’re really more likely to enjoy a new wine based on variety, region and vintage.”
What should wine definitely not taste like?
With so many varieties of wine out there, maybe it’s easier to know what wine shouldn’t taste like.
Wet cardboard, cork and vinegar are three of Mr Eikmeier’s hot tips.
But he says it’s better to just trust your taste buds.
“They’re better than you think,” he says.
“If it smells a bit disturbing, you’re probably not going to like it.
“Don’t stress about picking the fault. Don’t like it? Then don’t drink it.”
How much do we need to spend?
Now, for the big questions.
We’ve all walked into a bottle-o on the way to a dinner party and asked the question: how much do I need to spend to bring a wine that’s not going to be crap?
Mr Eikmeier suggests we redefine what ‘good wine’ means to us.
“Good wine is something made with love by someone who cares. There’s usually a story behind it. That’s a good wine,” he says.
But if you really want to know how much a tasty drop will set you back?
“At full retail prices, it’s hard to find a good wine at under $15,” he says.
For good chardonnay, Mr Eikmeier recommends shelling out $25 at least, while a good riesling can still come in at around $20.
“Of course, it’s a different story at Vinomofo,” he adds with a wink.
And finally … how should we hold the glass?
By the stem? By the widest part? Does it matter?
“It’s such bullshit,” says Mr Eikmeier.
“You should hold the glass how it’s comfortable.”
Mr Eikmeier says the idea that we should hold a glass by the stem related to the wine warming up too much in our hands.
“If you’re taking that long to drink your wine you should drink a beer,” he says.
“I use stem-less glasses, so I’m sure as hell not picking them up by the stem.”
This article was sponsored by Vinomofo.